Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Position of the Conversation

The importance of conversing with one's customers is unignorable. As the ability for consumers to create becomes ever easier through the social media, the importance of 'listening' increases similarly. Failure to recognise the electronic contributions of customers can result in negative repercussions; for example, discussions identifying product deficiencies can result in increased levels of negative electronic word of mouth. Failure to identify these discussions will reduce the likelihood that deficiencies will be adequately resolved by the organisation.

Effectively recognising user generated content will allow the organisation to offer suitable redress following a perceived service failing. Whilst negative word of mouth will more often than not result following service failings, appropriately resolving the customer's grievance may conversely result in positive word of mouth. Further, such recognition affords the organisation the opportunity to more successfully satisfy broader customer needs. In more extreme circumstances, such conversations may even assume the role of the organisation's Research and Development department. Conversations between end users may offer product suggestions which the organisation had not previously considered. Clearly, such benefits are only available to the proactive organisation; i.e. the organisation that recognises the customer's position. By recognising the position of the conversation in service provision, the organisation is significantly more suited to exploit an enhanced relationship with the consumer.

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